Wipes vs. water RCT

Healthcare professionals

This study was a prospective, assessor-blinded, randomised controlled equivalence trial of healthy term babies (n=280).

Participants were recruited within 48 hours of birth, and randomly assigned to have their napkin area cleansed with JOHNSON’S® Baby Extra Sensitive wipes or water and cotton wool (n=140 for each group).

Skin hydration was measured at 48 hours and 4 weeks post birth, and results compared. Secondary outcomes included changes in trans-epidermal water loss, skin pH, presence of microbial skin contaminants, and midwife and maternal reporting of napkin dermatitis.

Wipes were shown to be equivalent to water and cotton wool in terms of skin hydration. Maternal-reported napkin dermatitis was numerically higher in the water group (p=0.025), but there were no significant differences in other secondary endpoints.

Now you have the evidence to reassure mothers that they are making a safe choice, whichever method they decide to use.


Lavender, T., Furber, C., Campbell, M., et al. Effect on skin hydration of using baby wipes to clean the napkin area of newborn babies: assessor-blinded randomised controlled equivalence trial. BMC Pediatrics 2012;12:59.